An Iraqi army force has killed three Libyan gunmen suspected of planning suicide bombings ahead of the Christmas holiday .
Army representatives told a reporter for VOA's Kurdish service Monday that soldiers raided a house in western Mosul, north of Baghdad, and were attacked by “terrorists” with hand grenades. They say the Libyans were killed in a clash that followed.
The violence comes as human rights group Amnesty International called on the Iraqi government to do more to protect the country's Christian minority from an expected increase in violent attacks surrounding the Christmas holiday season.
Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa said Monday attacks on Christians and their churches have intensified in past weeks.
He said Amnesty fears militants might attempt serious attacks against Iraqi Christians celebrating Christmas in order to “gain maximum publicity” and “embarrass the government.”
Also Monday, gunmen opened fire on the president of Mosul University, Saaeed al-Diwah. The academic administrator was seriously wounded in the attack and is in intensive care at a local hospital.